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Our view

The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future
DANIEL KAHNEMAN – Author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

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Changing the Conversation
21st Club presents a collection of insights for football club boardrooms

Changing the Conversation

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  • 18 Dec 2020

    2020: A year in review – Competition Format

    The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered many changes, some will prove to be temporary but others may become permanent. As lockdowns were initially lifted and professional sport allowed to resume, competitions had to be completed in significantly shortened time frames. This led to many finding solutions by altering their traditional structures. In football we saw changes […]

  • 01 Oct 2020

    Think ahead

    A player hears the advice, “think three steps ahead,” thousands of times by the time she or he is 10 years old. Every notion of a pass needs to come with a consideration of the next pass, the subsequent movement off the ball, and the best counterpressing option. We’ve found it’s crucial to have the […]

  • 23 Sep 2020

    The true cost of a transfer

    A big challenge for leagues and clubs at the moment is to become more sustainable and efficient with the resources they have available. A majority of a football club’s revenue will be spent on a combination of transfer fees and player’s wages. Often these figures are reported separately but in reality club’s have a single […]

  • 17 Sep 2020

    Measured Expectations

    Every season brings with it high hopes and expectations and this year is no different, especially for academy players looking to break through into the first team. On average, the Premier League has 26 debutants each season but what are reasonable hopes and expectations we should set on these players once they break into the […]

  • 10 Sep 2020

    Don’t waste a good mistake

    The push towards data driven decision-making demands that we base our future strategies on evidence and, as some of the biggest decisions a club makes, dealings in the transfer window are no exception. But how can we benchmark our transfer policy against other clubs’ when there are so many different factors at play? Without a […]

  • 03 Sep 2020

    The foundations of a strong league

    One of the challenges leagues outside Europe’s Big 5 face is knowing a) how to benchmark themselves against others, and b) how to benchmark themselves against where they should be. The former can be done with our World Super League ranking of leagues, but the latter requires an assessment of a wider domestic ecosystem.

    The basis […]

  • 27 Aug 2020

    One leg good, two legs bad?

    There has been discussion about whether the enforced change to one-leg ties for the Champions League knockout structure should become the new normal. The all-or-nothing games were fantastic television, so why not keep them around?

    The key difference is that one-legged ties bring greater uncertainty. For evenly-matched teams the effect of one or two legs is […]